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Lumbosacral Strain and Vertebrae fractures caused by osteopenia


Hi.  I have a couple questions and welcome all recommendations for my disability claim.  I am currently 10% disabled for lumbosacral strain and deferred decision for this and vertebrae fractures caused by osteopenia.  I had a MRI February 2018 and results include moderate compression fracture of L1, mild to moderate compression fracture of L2, moderate to severe compression fracture of L3, mild compression fracture of T11.  Additionally, L3 moderate spinal canal stenosis, L2 mild to moderate retropulsion with mild spinal canal stenosis, multilevel degenerative changes, multilevel disc bulges, disc herniations, L1-L2 mild broad-based disc bulge with mild spinal canal stenosis, L2-L3 mild broad based disc bulge with mild to moderate spinal canal stenosis,  L3-L4 mild to moderate broad based disc bulge and severe bilateral neuroforaminal narrowing.   I have read that these malfunctions should have been claimed individually.  Will the VA evaluate/rate each condition separately?  If not, I may have to appeal or submit a new claim.  What are some thoughts and suggestions.  Do these disabilities belong in the lumbosacral strain or the vertebrae fractures caused by osteopenia.  I am totally in the dark on this stuff.  I am pretty sure no diagnosis codes have been assigned.  What can I do to support my claim?  HELP!!!!!

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Asking for your spine issues to be rated individually may not work because of the way they rate spine disabilities coupled with the pyramiding rule.

You should probably start by looking up each condition and see how they are rated. Here is a link to the rating criteria: https://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/text-idx?SID=6db13a8cb5c84a00e598dcdc0af89b96&mc=true&node=pt38.1.4&rgn=div5


Sciatica is pretty much radiculopathy along the sciatic nerve. 

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No, the VA would not rate each fracture or finding at each vertebrae...that would be pyramiding. They also consider the lumbar and thoracic column as one spinal segment...cervical findings are their own segment.

The rating code is less important than what the VA has considered service connected regarding all those specific findings, since most lumbo/sacral...lumbo/thoracic conditions are rated using their formula measuring range of motion or incapacitating episodes.

Who diagnosed your osteopenia by the way...vs. say, osteoporosis? Was it the VA? And, in the past were you ever diagnosed with osteoarthritis, especially following your back injury?

Reason I ask? OPenia is more of a bone wasting process, OPorosis is most often age related, and osteoarthritis is most often age related BUT can also occur at any age and be accelerated by trauma; traumatic arthritis presents very much like OA due to overuse and/or injury.

Lumbar strain is a vague catch-all term the VA uses. When you were service-connected, did your x-rays or imaging note any of the vertebral findings you mention? Or anything similar? example: compression fractures are also described as 'anterior wedging' and 'compression changes' , etc.

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